The Children's Peace Monument was inspired by Sadako Sasaki, who was just two years old at the time of the atomic bomb. At age 11 she developed leukaemia, and decided to fold 1000 paper cranes. In Japan, the crane is a symbol of longevity and happiness, and she believed if she folded 1000 she would recover. Sadly she died before reaching her goal, but her classmates folded the rest. A monument was built in 1958.
Sadako's story inspired a nationwide spate of paper-crane folding that continues to this day. Surrounding the monument are strings of thousands of colourful paper cranes, sent here by schoolchildren from around the country and all over the world.